I wonder if sometimes we forget the larger context of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is not simply a right for citizens to own guns so they can hunt or protect themselves. Yes, that’s a part of it. But it’s not the essential reason for it, at least not according to the framers of the Constiution. The 2nd Amendment, more importantly, guarantees Americans the right to bear arms for the express purpose to protect against state tyranny.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” ~ 2nd Amendment
So, yes, by all means buy and own a gun to protect you and your family. That’s a valid and understandable reason to own a gun. But that is of secondary importance when it comes to understanding the Constitutional purpose of the 2nd Amendment, which is to preserve liberty itself. Maintaining a free state which enjoys liberty and freedom requires not just laws and lawyers but the vigilance of a local militia, so to keep the state honest.
This in mind, legislation like the NDAA or the FISA Amendments Act ought to scare us. Under the FISA Amendments Act, the government is allowed to wiretap Americans without obtaining a warrant, and the telecoms which do their dirty work are immune from prosecution. On average, the government via NSA intercepts 1.7 billion communications every single day; that’s emails, phone calls, et cetera. Under the NDAA, the government of the United States of America can detain us without any due process, if they think we are a threat to national security. Obama can snap his fingers and have you snatched from your home, blindfolded, put on an unmarked jet and extraordinarily rendered to some black site in Mogadishu for some good ol’ fashioned “enhanced interrogation.” Sounds paranoid? Well, perhaps for the average American that scenario may seem like a bit of a stretch, but for political dissenters and whistleblowers this is a very real danger. And without investigative journalism exercising free speech, there is no Fourth Estate guarding our civil liberties by reporting wrongdoing to the people and holding political elites accountable for their actions. This is precisely the argument in Hedges V. Obama.
Furthermore, according to the bogus legalese of the drone program, Americans can be assassinated without any due process (funny how Obama was against torture while campaigning back in 2008, but as soon as he gets into office he’s totally cool with torturing logic in order to “legally” assassinate peeps). Yes, believer it or not, President Obama — our so-called civil rights champ and former Constitutional lawyer — reserves the right to be judge, jury and executioner, all while keeping the people and the press at an arms-length.
Thomas Jefferson famously wrote “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” I am not saying that requiring a national registry for gun owners or banning assault weapons will bring about tyranny; but it sure as hell is one step closer to what is looking more and more like a surveillance state boldly infringing upon our civil liberties.